In less than a week, the editorial board of the state’s largest newspaper has published three asinine commentaries criticizing President Barack Obama while offering not a shred of rebuttal or an extensive differing viewpoint.
The three editorials by The Oklahoman, simply signed with the innocuous byline “The Oklahoman Editorial Board,” show not only how the monopoly newspaper is one of the most biased corporate publications in the world but also how sophomoric, reductionist and anachronistic its editorial page remains in the twenty-first century.
The newspaper is legitimately and obviously obsessed with its hatred of the first African American president in American history. Why? He’s a lame-duck president with two years remaining in office. Republicans now have majorities in the House and Senate. Surely, the newspaper should begin its Hillary-hate at this point, right? What’s the point of rousing the low-information villagers who actually subscribe to this awful newspaper and believe in its one-sided hateful views against Obama right now? With its documented past of hate and bias against minorities under the late publisher Edward L. Gaylord, it’s not difficult to see it as the lingering vestiges of racism. What else could it be?
On Nov. 14, the newspaper published an editorial, “The president’s misplaced priorities, outdated solutions,” that argues the president support for “net neutrality,” which essentially would prevent large, corporate Internet providers from ripping off people by charging them more, perhaps even doubling or tripling prices, is somehow a non-issue and shouldn’t be Obama’s concern. As the headline argues, it’s “misplaced.” The editorial goes on to argue that people just don’t care about it. While it might be true that not many people are paying attention to the issue right now, as the editorial argues, they sure would care about it when their Internet bill went up in price in a major way. What makes this an especially dumb editorial is that the issue has the potential in the future of hurting NewsOK.com, the newspaper’s website, if Internet providers jacked up prices to view videos.
But, then, The Oklahoman has one business model: Use its monopoly to shut down competition and progressive political dissent until newspapers its size and caliber close down. Does anyone here really think its current owner, billionaire energy mogul Philip Anschutz, really cares about people here in Oklahoma or even if the newspaper even flourishes commercially? Isn’t this simply a hobby for the reclusive, right-wing member of the 1 percent.
On Nov. 17, the newspaper published an editorial, “Legacy-building phase underway for Obama presidency,” which produced this rhetorically bizarre gem:
Obama’s visit to China and the wearing of that weird Star Trek costume (or whatever it was) produced a pen-and-phone style agreement for the United States to cut carbon dioxide emissions. This is an exercise in legacy-building. Obama will spend much of his last two years in office beating the drum for global warming remediation.
Note the sarcasm over the Chinese-styled shirt that many leaders of the summit wore one time as a gesture of unity and graciousness for the host country. The newspaper’s criticism of this minor act is a blatant case of xenophobia and, yes, I will say it over and over, just downright racism. People do wear different styles of clothing in different parts of the world or have traditional clothing. How does one even begin to teach students about the world in this place when the state’s largest newspaper makes fun of the way people dress in other countries? Why doesn’t the newspaper just publish an editorial urging Oklahoma children to make fun of kids in other countries that don’t dress like them? It’s called ignorance and bullying.
The point of the editorial is that it’s wrong for Obama to try to build the historical legacy of his presidency through making progress on global warming by reducing manmade carbon emissions. The Oklahoman editorial board is a longtime supporter of Oklahoma’s U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who calls global warming a hoax and a left-wing scientist conspiracy, so why not just leave it at that? We know The Oklahoman editorial board doesn’t privilege science. So what’s the point of the entire “legacy-building” thing and the xenophobia and racism unless that’s the real point? It’s all just about bashing Obama with racist undertones.
On Nov. 19, the newspaper published an editorial, “Opposition to Obamacare not likely to subside,” which argues, against growing evidence, that the Affordable Care Act is an “albatross for Democrats.” Note the newspaper’s use of the word “Obamacare,” which Republicans have made part of the American lexicon. Here’s the key paragraph for the point I’m making:
So long as Obama is president, Jacobs is correct to predict no fundamental Obamacare changes will become law. And GOP infighting could stymie even modest amendments. That won’t mean Obamacare is increasingly popular. The law has been an electoral albatross for Democrats since its passage. There’s little reason to think this dynamic will change any time soon.
Yes, folks, isn’t it terrible Obama won’t deny health care to the millions upon millions of people who now have insurance and regular medical care? The editorial is preposterous. Its only point is to denigrate the president in any way whatsoever without allowing an appropriate, sustained rebuttal. Obama, Obama, Obama. Bad, bad, bad. WE GET IT ALREADY.
Here’s how the newspaper describes its editorial board:
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord Everest, member at large; J.E. McReynolds, Opinion editor; Owen Canfield III. chief editorial writer; and Ray Carter, editorial writer.
Let’s be clear: The Oklahoman editorial page is shameful and craven. Its continued obsession with Obama is truly borderline psychotic and can obviously been seen as racist. Those who perpetuate it by creating or approving its nonsensical content do a grave disservice to the residents in this state and to the quality of life here. In addition, the newspaper’s decision to NOT allow consistent dissenting views to its one-sided arguments is a classic reason why we need better journalistic standards in this country.